In the realm of DIYs, mason jars have become somewhat of a superstar, but they shouldn't be used solely for decoration. These cute glass containers are also the perfect, compact way to meal prep throughout the week. From casserole to oatmeal, you can create a series of dishes that'll keep you fed Monday through Sunday. Who knows? Inside the jars, the food might just seem too pretty to eat. 


Photo: Dayz Terry


To start off: 

Wash the mason jars with soap and warm water.

Each recipe yields one jar.

When putting the jars in the oven, put them inside a pan of hot water.

In the fridge and vacuum–sealed, this food will be good for at least a week.


Vegetable Kale Casserole

Cook time: 1 hour

Diets: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten–Free, Dairy–Free

Why it’s great: When healthy vegetables are conveniently in your backpack, it’s easier to choose them over food trucks and Frontera.


Photo: Dayz Terry


Ingredients:

½ a sweet potato
¼ of an eggplant
2 handfuls of kale
1 tablespoon of brown mustard
A lime wedge
Olive oil
Pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut the sweet potato and eggplant into small cubes—the smaller they are, the more you can fit in the jar
3. Place in jar and sprinkle with olive oil and pepper
4. Cook for 40 minutes
5. Stuff kale in the jar. It will shrink a LOT so don’t worry about using too much.
6. Add a tablespoon of brown mustard
7. Squeeze lime on top
8. Cook for another 20 minutes
9. While the jar is still hot, screw the lid on tight using mitts
10. Within 15 minutes, you should hear a very satisfying pop—that’s the jar vacuum–sealing. If you don’t, press the poppy bit of the lid down. If it stays there, then your jar is sealed.

Photo: Dayz Terry



Curry Chicken with Quinoa

Cook time: 50 minutes

Diets: Gluten–Free, Dairy–Free

Why it’s great: It’s loaded with protein, which is really important in a mid-day meal.


Photo: Dayz Terry


Ingredients:

¼ cup of quinoa, uncooked
¼ cup of broth
½ cup of chopped chicken
¼ cup of chopped peppers
¼ cup of peas
1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 teaspoon of paprika

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. Put quinoa and broth in the jar
3. Add the chicken, peppers and peas
4. Cook for 45 minutes.
5. Check that the chicken is white and the quinoa looks like tiny platelets. If it doesn’t, give it another 5 minutes in the oven.
6. While the jar is still hot, screw the lid on tight using mitts
7. Within 15 minutes, you should hear a very satisfying pop—that’s the jar vacuum–sealing. If you don’t, press the poppy bit of the lid down. If it stays there, then your jar is sealed.

Pasta bake

Cook time: 40 minutes

Diets: Vegetarian

Why it’s great: It’s carbs and cheese, but with vegetables and in a controlled portion!


Photo: Dayz Terry


Ingredients:

½ cup of dry pasta
½ cup of pasta sauce
1/8 cup of water
¼ cup of crumbled cheese
A handful of diced eggplant
A fingerful of frozen corn

Photo: Dayz Terry


Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Put the pasta, pasta sauce, and water in a jar and mix everything together
3. Add the eggplant and frozen corn
4. Place some foil on top and bake for 30 minutes
5. Check that pasta is cooked (I usually take a piece out with a fork, run it under cold water and taste it). If it isn’t, give it another 5 minutes.
6. Sprinkle the cheese on top
7. Put the jar back in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted
8. While the jar is still hot, screw the lid on tight using mitts
9. Within 15 minutes, you should hear a very satisfying pop—that’s the jar vacuum–sealing. If you don’t, press the poppy bit of the lid down. If it stays there, then your jar is sealed.


Scrambled eggs

Cook time: 25 minutes

Diets: Vegetarian, Gluten–Free

Why it’s great: When baked, eggs really take on the taste of their other ingredients.


Photo: Dayz Terry


Ingredients:

2 eggs
½ cup of plain Greek yogurt
1/8 cup of bell pepper
1/8 cup of onion
A handful of spinach
A fingerful of cheese
Pepper
Cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray the inside of the jar.
3. Whisk the eggs and Greek yogurt together in the jar.
4. Add peppers, onions and spinach, being careful not to fill the jar more than halfway.
5. Cook for 20 minutes.
6.  Add cheese.
7. Cook for another 5 minutes
8. Add pepper.
9. While the jar is still hot, screw the lid on tight using mitts.
10. Within 15 minutes, you should hear a very satisfying pop—that’s the jar vacuum–sealing. If you don’t, press the poppy bit of the lid down. If it stays there, then your jar is sealed.

Baked Banana Oatmeal

Cook time: 25 minutes

Diets: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy–Free

Why it’s great: Oatmeal is easy but it can be a bit boring. With some advanced preparation, though, it can actually be something you look forward to.


Photo: Dayz Terry


Ingredients:

1 egg
½ cup of oatmeal
1 cup of water
½ of a banana
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of raisins
1 tablespoon of chopped nuts
Maple syrup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Whisk egg, oatmeal, banana, and cinnamon in the jar
3. Bake for 20 minutes
4. Add raisins and nuts
5. Cook for another 5 minutes
6. Garnish with maple syrup and cinnamon
7. While the jar is still hot, screw the lid on tight using mitts
8. Within 15 minutes, you should hear a very satisfying pop—that’s the jar vacuum–sealing. If you don’t, press the poppy bit of the lid down. If it stays there, then your jar is sealed.

Chocolate Quinoa

Cook time: 40 minutes

Diets: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten–Free, Dairy–Free

Why it’s great: It’s chocolate and protein in one meal. And you get to eat it for breakfast.


Photo: Dayz Terry


Ingredients:

¼ cup of quinoa
¼ cup of water
½ tablespoon of cocoa powder
½ tablespoon of maple syrup
½ cup of frozen fruit
2 tablespoons of shredded coconut

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Put the quinoa and water in the jar
3. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup
4. Cook for 20 minutes
5. Top with shredded coconut and frozen fruit
6. Bake for another 20 minutes
7. While the jar is still hot, screw the lid on tight using mitts
8. Within 15 minutes, you should hear a very satisfying pop—that’s the jar vacuum–sealing. If you don’t, press the poppy bit of the lid down. If it stays there, then your jar is sealed.




With recipes like these, who needs UberEats? A little Sunday meal prepping can make your whole week that much smoother. 


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